Ever since its launch three years ago, AMC+ has carved out its own small but niche corner in the streaming world. Beyond just offering content from AMC exclusively, the service now provides a plethora of options, from the popular horror service Shudder to the Brit-friendly Acorn TV and BBC America, to the indie-friendly IFC and Sundance Now, to the anime-based HIDIVE. Regardless of what genre interests you have, there’s a lot to offer for everyone, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
With summer in full swing, there are several exciting new additions to the service, with releases coming every Friday. Here are the best movies coming to AMC+ in July 2023, as well as a couple of returning classics you should check out.
Rare Objects (July 7)
Katie Holmes makes her directorial debut in her feature adaptation of Kathleen Tessaro’s novel of the same name, and she also stars alongside up-and-coming actress Julia Mayorga, Derek Luke (13 Reasons Why, Antwone Fisher), and veteran character actor Alan Cummings. Mayorga plays a young sexual assault survivor looking to reinvent her life by taking work at an antique shop.
Quickly, she begins to form friendships with the shop owners, who help her regain her confidence and sense of self. However, this newfound stability is threatened to be upended when her past starts to creep its way back into her present.
While tackling difficult subject matter, the film nonetheless holds a strong empathy towards its protagonist and her emotional journey towards healing, and anyone in the mood for a tough but rewarding watch should find themselves satisfied with Rare Objects.
R.M.N. (July 28)
One of the most acclaimed films at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, R.M.N. is the latest from Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days), and like the rest of his filmography, it’s disturbing but engrossing viewing.
Set in a multi-ethnic Transylvanian village, the plot concerns rising racial tensions within the community after a few Sri Lankan migrant workers are hired at a local bakery. Particularly incensed is Matthias, a factory worker having recently returned home after struggling to hold a job overseas, and his inability to find work in his own village only further fuels his anger.
Gradually, paranoid suspicions and xenophobia towards the immigrants build in every corner of the village. As it builds to a boiling point, the film reaches a haunting, open-ended conclusion.
Mungiu takes a clinical approach to his direction, refusing to pass overt judgment on any of his characters but carefully considering the effects of globalization on an economically struggling village and how this enables those who are suffering to direct their hatred and anger to those even less fortunate than them. It’s an unsettling but all too timely viewing experience, allowing the viewer to consider the rise of xenophobia around the world today.
Still Playing on AMC+: Boyhood
One of the most unanimously acclaimed films of the 21st century, Boyhood is director Richard Linklater’s magnum opus, an astonishingly ambitious work tracking twelve years in the life of young boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his divorced pares. Linklater, in fact, filmed the movie annually in chunks between 2002 and 2013, and this allows for an unflinching authenticity in watching Mason literally grow up before our eyes.
We also explore his changing relationship with his slacker father (Ethan Hawke) and overworked mother. (Patricia Arquette, who won a well-deserved Oscar for her performance).
From the description, Boyhood sounds like a gimmick film. It is anything but. Watching Mason’s life change and his relationships with his family change over time is endlessly fascinating, and Linklater uses his capturing of time over the course of twelve years to his advantage. Even if he doesn’t realize it in the moment, the little moments in Mason’s life help to shape who he becomes.
Even at the end of the film, he’s still figuring out who he is, realizing that no one in his life can give him the right answers to growing up. It’s an intimate epic that’s endlessly moving, and if you didn’t get the chance to watch it on AMC+ before, now is the perfect time.
Still Playing on AMC+: Saving Private Ryan
Independence Day is right around the corner, and the perfect way to celebrate it is with Steven Spielberg’s harrowing but deeply moving portrait of those who gave their lives for their country, Saving Private Ryan. The film focuses on a small battalion in 1944, during World War II, on a secret mission in France to rescue Private James Ryan (Matt Damon).
Gradually, it’s revealed that Ryan’s three brothers were killed in combat, and the military now intends to bring him home to spare his parents the loss of all of their children.
The film is anything but an easy sit, as evidenced by its now iconic gruesome opening, capturing in painstaking detail the carnage soldiers experienced landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. However, Spielberg uses this to highlight his soldiers’ bravery; they are simply men doing a job who have chosen to risk their lives for a deeply courageous mission, and the end result is a tribute to pure heroism without dipping into unnecessary jingoism.
Also starring Tom Hanks, Edward Buns, and Tom Sizemore, the film won six Academy Awards, including a second Best Director trophy for Spielberg. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it on the service yet, this holiday may be the perfect occasion.